– APEX 2012 EXPO – Long Beach, CA | September 17, 2012–Thales, leader in In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) systems, is delighted to announce that Saudia Airlines has signed a new IFEC agreement to install the TopSeries system on a total of 54 aircraft. This is a major step forward for both Thales and Saudia that introduces the award winning TopSeries AVANT® system, TopConnect suite of Connectivity and brand new TopSeries AVATM adding wireless content streaming to the airline’s future aircraft. TopSeries AVANT® is an Android® based, next generation system which combines the strengths of earlier platforms with advanced technologies, such as high definition video, solid state drives and faster processors, to deliver an enhanced passenger experience never seen before.

This latest arrangement between Thales and Saudia covers A320, A330, B777 and 787 fleets. In addition, the airline is soon to deploy a new passenger interface that affords exceptional performance, new capabilities and stunning visuals. The coordination and mutual commitment this project entails makes Thales one of the airlines’ key strategic partners in a long-term transformation project. Since its start in 1945, Saudia Airlines has received many industry awards and is recognized as a favorite local and international carrier, and recently became the newest and first Middle East member of the Skyteam Alliance.

MR. Tarik Sindi, Vice President Marketing and Product Management of Saudia Airlines commented: “Passengers across the region are fast becoming extremely discerning and demand ever evolved the levels of service excellence and technology offering from their in- cabin experience. Our goal is to truly take our place amongst the new breed of major global carriers for passenger satisfaction and customer service. This project is designed to achieve that aim with our choice partner Thales who will provide our passengers with the best in-flight entertainment system available in the skies.”

Commenting on this very significant project, Alan Pellegrini Chief Executive Officer of the Thales In-flight Entertainment business said: “In-flight entertainment systems can have a direct and lasting impact on passenger perceptions of an airline’s service excellence, and carriers such as Saudia are now leading the world in designing and deploying the very best cabin experience. This is a bold and ambitious project, and we are very proud of the confidence placed in our systems and people by such an important customer as Saudia.”